Today it is being reported by multiple hockey insiders that the Chicago Wolves organization have hired on Rocky Thompson as their new Head Coach heading into the 2017-2018 hockey season.
For Thompson, he replaces outgoing Head Coach Craig Berube who after spending the 2016-2017 as the bench boss of the Chicago. Berube’s record during that campaign was 44-19-0-13.
According to Steve Carp with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he is reporting that Berube is most likely going to join Mike Yeo with the St. Louis Blues organization this coming season.
The incoming bench boss Thompson previously spent time with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL where he led them to the 2017 Master Card Memorial Cup Championship. His Spitfires defeated the OHL Champs Erie Otters by a 4-3 victory.
This became the third Memorial Cup Championship that the Spitfires had won in their franchise’s history.
His coaching record for the 2016-2017 season was 41-19-5-3 at 90 points and 2nd place in the West.
Thompson’s Playing Career Stats
Rocky Thompson Prior To Winning The Master Card Memorial Cup
Thompson Celebrating After Windsor Winning The Master Card Memorial Cup
For Thompson, he had the opportunity to coach Gabriel Vilardi who in 49 games played this season with Windsor recorded 29 goals and added 32 assists for 61 points.
Vilardi is projected to be selected at 4th overall in this year’s NHL Entry Draft according to the league’s final ranking’s report.
Jesse Granger of the Las Vegas Sun tweeted this comment on Thompson referencing Vilardi.
Update: 2:05 PM
More Reaction On The Rocky Thompson Hiring
Both the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Wolves hockey clubs made it official today as they have selected former OHL Windsor Spitfires Head Coach Rocky Thompson as new bench boss.
Vegas’s GM George McPhee echoed his excitement about bringing on Thompson as the organization’s first HC of the Golden Knights/Chicago Wolves Era.
“We are extremely pleased to introduce Rocky as the head coach of our American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves,” said Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee. “As a player, he was competitive, tough, team-oriented and hard working. As a coach, he is now coming off a Memorial Cup Championship season with the Windsor Spitfires and has enjoyed success at multiple levels. Player development is a significant priority for our organization and he has proven to be very capable in that area as well. Rocky is the right Coach to help us win championships in Chicago.” Per VGK
The newest member of the Vegas organization expressed his gratitude as being the next bench boss for the Golden Knights AHL Affiliate the Chicago Wolves.
“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve as head coach of the Chicago Wolves,” said Chicago Wolves Head Coach Rocky Thompson. “Chicago is a tremendous hockey community, and I look forward to helping the Golden Knights develop top players on and off the ice in front of this dedicated fan base.” Per VGK
Wolves GM Wendall Young had this to say about what Thompson brings to the table as the newest head coach for Chicago.
“He knows how to win,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. “He was a tough, hard worker when he played and those characteristics have carried over as a coach. He is meticulous in every area. Everybody I’ve talked to in the hockey world has given him rave reviews. He’s going to be a tremendous asset when it comes to developing players and continuing the Wolves’ winning ways.” Per VGK
More On The Thompson Hiring
At 39 years of age, Thompson joins the Chicago Wolves organization after serving as the Windsor Spitfires bench boss during the 2015-2017 OHL campaigns. When he took over behind the bench, Thompson led Windsor in the 2015-16 season to a 40-21-6-1 record with 87 points.
His coaching style enabled the Spitfires to capture 47 more points the standings from the 2014-2015 campaign where Windsor finished in 5th place and dead last in the West Division of the OHL’s Western Conference.
Thompson also brings to the table prior NHL coaching experience when he was part of the coaching staff of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2014-2015 season. With Thompson behind the bench with the Oilers organization, they posted a 24–44–14 record in 6th place in the NHL’s Pacific Division and 13th overall in the Western Conference.
He served alongside Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson who were both interim Head Coaches during that campaign.